The new year is upon us, the WGA is still out on strike, and yet a lot of new scripted programming is going to start airing in the next few weeks.
Watching some college football yesterday on ABC made it seem as though they 're going to have no difficulty filling time slots. I think it's just posturing, but it doesn't really matter, that Lost ad was great (but not as great as the one that aired just before the ball dropped on Dick Clark the night before) and Cashmere Mafia is coming too. Let's not forget Fox, which has Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles starting the middle of this month.
Then, there's NBC. Sure, they've got Law & Order coming back tonight, and who doesn't love Jeremy Sisto (why you people did not watch Kidnapped I'll never understand). But, they also have The Celebrity Apprentice starting tomorrow night, and let's face it, their definition of "celebrity" is a broad one. I think I'm about 100 readers short of qualifying. NBC is also putting forth American Gladiators, which, I'll admit I'm moderately curious about. After all, have you seen this YouTube thing:
By the way, if I wasn't clear on any of this, I'm absolutely watching all of the aforementioned programming. No doubt about it, I'm there, even for The Celebrity Apprentice. I just hope the Donald boots Omarosa the first time her team loses. Actually, does she even get a team? Goodness knows that if this is anything like her last foray on the show she doesn't care about what anyone else says or does.
There are other new/returning scripted series that I'm not going to be watching (Medium and According to Jim come to mind instantly), but it all makes me wonder about how long, exactly, the networks can continue to make it look as though everything is okay. To this point the networks were able to get through the majority of the November Sweeps period before losing a lot of their scripted stuff, and some shows even aired an episode or two in December.
The episodes of scripted fare that were already in the can when the strike began, along with the fact that December is usually loaded with repeats, have helped hide the strike. Now, mid-season replacements will be able to do that for at least a little while. Eventually though, a time will come when it'll be apparent to everyone that they've hit the wall, and I wonder what happens at that point.